|Square upgrade input given|
|Wednesday, October 10, 2012|
By SABRINA GARRETT
A number of local business owners gave their thoughts regarding the revitalization of the Lebanon Public Squareduring a gathering with Mayor Philip Craighead Tuesday at the Lebanon/Wilson County Chamber of Commerce.
Craighead said the feedback he received was “inquisitive, but supportive” at the open meeting.
The changes to the Square are to be made in either summer or fall 2013. These changes include making the Square a safer environment for vehicles and pedestrians, with a roundabout design, new lighting and landscaping.
Chamber President and CEO Sue Vanatta said she is most looking forward to the Square’s comeback as the “heart of the community.”
The Square has been the center of the city since 1802 and has experienced many changes over the years. “My understanding is that years ago everyone would come down and spend their Saturdays on the Square,” she said. “I think nowadays there is more activity on the Square during the week and definitely more business.”
In recent years the Square has become home to new clothing stores, including the Pink Cactus, Dreams Boutique and the Crystal Couture Store – drawing in shoppers fromWilsonand surrounding counties. “I think the new design will give the Square more appeal. The safety issues are the main thing, but it is going to be more viable,” Vanatta said.
Craighead said the next step would be to have a work session with the Lebanon City Council and to pass a resolution in support of the plan.
“Then we would send it to the state,” he said, adding that project funding would come from “safety money from the federal government. They have money set aside to address safety issues on the roads.”
Crystal Couture Owner Helene Cash said she was excited to share the plan with her customers and encouraged other businesses to do the same. “We can put posters in our shops and start talking to people about it and help bring them in on it,” she noted.
Vanatta added, “I think people are going to be excited.”